Boozer, Jazz push aside Bobcats
SALT LAKE CITY (AP)—Utah Jazz coach Jerry Sloan’s message to his team after its sluggish first-half performance night was simple:
That approach—feeding Boozer in the post instead of settling for outside jump shots—did the trick as Utah rallied for a 102-93 victory over the Charlotte Bobcats on Wednesday night.
“Once we adjusted at halftime … we kept going inside, which opened up our 3-point shooting later on,” said Boozer, who scored 20 of his game-high 33 points in the second half. “We got aggressive. I felt like I had an advantage and told Willie (Deron Williams(notes)) to keep coming to me.”
Utah trailed by 11 points at halftime, but outscored Charlotte 31-16 in the third quarter. The Jazz put the game away with a 17-7 spurt that blew open a two-point game midway through the fourth quarter.
“We got stops and got out on the break, we got the crowd into it and just kind of kept it rolling from there,” said Jazz guard Kyle Korver(notes), who had 18 points, including two 3-pointers during the fourth-quarter run. “In the first half, we just weren’t getting any stops and didn’t have any teeth in anything that we were doing.”
“It seemed like everything went their way,” said Wallace, who had 18 points in the first half. “We kind of laid back and let them do whatever they wanted to do, offensively and defensively.”
Charlotte coach Larry Brown was ejected with 3:44 remaining after receiving two technical fouls for arguing after a foul call.
Deron William had 20 points and 12 assists for Utah, which pulled to within a half-game of Northwest Division-leading Denver. The Jazz are 23-8 at home.
The Jazz held Charlotte to just 5 of 18 shooting in the third quarter.
“In the second half we tightened up on them a bit and they didn’t get the same looks,” Williams said.
Utah has won 14 of its last 16 games to move within a half-game of Northwest Division-leading Denver. Boozer, who had 16 rebounds, is averaging 17.5 rebounds in the four games since the trade deadline.
Charlotte’s Steven Jackson shook off a 1-for-16 shooting effort the previous night to score 16 points.
NOTES: Utah swept the season series for the first time in Charlotte’s six seasons. … Charlotte is 0-3 on its four-game trip and 7-22 overall on the road this season. … Utah forward Andrei Kirilenko(notes) missed his second straight game because of back spasms. … Charlotte was without Tyson Chandler(notes) (left foot) and Nazr Mohammed(notes) (back spasms).